I knew exactly what this swelling was. It happened at least once before that I know of late last year. Lily had been feeling puny and was running a low grade fever for a couple of days before Christmas. Out of the blue, on Christmas night, she perked up and was behaving like her normal self. On the morning after Christmas I started to pet her head and noticed that her fur was wet beneath her left ear. On closer inspection I found that whatever the fluid was, it was draining from her ear. It was cloudy and I could see minute traces of blood in it. Being the day after Christmas the two vets I see were on holiday so I had to take Lily to the emergency animal center. While waiting to see the vet I then noticed the swelling in Lily's neck. Lily was sedated and the side of her neck was shaved. The vet made a small incision and drained out what she said appeared to be fluid from an abscessed wound...except there were no visible scratches or bite marks on Lily. Lily was placed on an antibiotic, the swelling disappeared, and we didn't pursued it any further.
I was able to get Lily into the vet at 9:00am yesterday. Dr. Green said the lump definitely felt as if it had fluid in it. She took Lily to another room, shaved her neck, and drew a sample from the lump. Once again, it appears to be an infection and had traces of blood in it. It would definitely have to be lanced and drained. Since Lily would need to be sedated I left her with the vet. Dr. Green asked if she could take x-rays of the area while Lily was out. I agreed. A couple of hours later I received a call from Dr. Green.
The good news is Lily did fine and was still sleeping at the time. She inserted a small piece of tubing through two incisions in Lily's neck so the place would continue to drain. I have to clean around it twice daily, and I am suppose to flush the inside of the area with this solution would send home with me.
The bad news is the x-rays showed thickening of the tissue surrounding the fluid filled area, plus two minute objects that could be foreign matter or bone fragment at the end of her ear canal. The whole mess presses on Lily's ear canal which is probably why she can't hear. Dr. Green also said that Lily's ear was so inflamed that she couldn't see into it with the otoscope. She strongly recommended that I take Lily to see a surgeon and the sooner I could get her in the better. Dr. Green also said that due to the location of the swelling, etc., it may be a risky surgery. The area is near Lily's lymph glands in her neck, her caratoid artery, plus her facial nerves. There is a possibility that a surgeon won't want to work in that area.
Lily has an appointment for a consultation with surgeon at 9:00am on Monday. I have her x-rays to take with me. Any other information will be faxed there from my vet's office.
My gut feeling is this place is NOT cancer. I could be totally wrong, but I don't think I am. A sample of the fluid has been sent to the lab. Hopefully the results will tell us exactly what type of bacteria or viral infection this is.
Lily is 9 years old. She was 7 when she joined me. I know she's had that drainage from her ear two or three times since she's been with me, although last December was when I first became aware of that swelling. It may have been there before and I just hadn't noticed it. Whatever the case is, Dr. Green said this is something that has been going on for quite some time with her.
I was suppose to go to Nashville next week to see Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie, and for various reasons it just was not working out so I decided not to go. I am so relieved that I'm not making that trip. Now I know why it wasn't meant to be. I need to be here to take care of Miss Lily Rose.